Baristas Push Back at Claim Starbucks Has Been 'Scamming' Customers

A musician posted a video that has been viewed more than 16 million times claiming that the coffee chain Starbucks is "scamming" its customers with its cup sizes, but baristas quickly pushed back and debunked the allegation.

Sueco shared the video showing himself with three different-sized Starbucks cups: tall, grande, and venti. After filling up the smallest cup, he attempted to transfer the liquid to the next size up. Some liquid overflowed and dribbled down the side of the cup. When he poured the liquid from the second cup to the largest cup, it once again filled to the brim.

Many fellow TikTok users did not believe the claim, and some even posted videos disproving it.

Starbucks Sign
A man's video claiming that Starbucks is "scamming" customers with its cup sizes led to several baristas posting videos of their own debunking the allegation. Above, a Starbucks sign is photographed in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Matthew Horwood / Contributor/Getty Images

Snopes recently reported that this is a long-time internet prank and previously debunked it.

"These videos actually use tricks (some cups may be pre-filled with liquid) or deceptive camera techniques (cups may be switched when they are moved out of frame) to make it appear as though customers are getting the same amount of liquid, no matter what size of cup they order," Snopes stated.

Several TikTok users shared videos showing that the cups hold different amounts of liquid.

Courtnee Pedone shared a video to her account @courtneepedone1 that has been viewed more than 150,000 times showing a Starbucks barista filling three different cup sizes with coffee.

The barista filled the smallest cup to the brim before pouring the coffee into the next-sized cup.

Although Sueco's video showed that the second cup overflowed with liquid, Pedone's video showed that there was room at the top.

For good measure, the barista poured the coffee back into the smallest cup where it, once again, filled to the brim.

She took the smallest cup and poured the coffee into the largest size in front of her where there was even more room left at the top of the cup.

"Who's scamming who?" read the text over the video.

TikToker Takeaway: 'Oldest Magicians Trick'

Viewers voiced their appreciation for the video in the comments section.

"Oldest magicians trick—a false bottom," a comment read. "Thanks for debunking!"

"I knew this was BS I was so annoyed with these guys," another wrote.

One commented that they "never" believed the original video and theorized he packed the bottom of the cups with something.

He obviously has a base in the bottom of the cups to take up space.
TikTok commenter

"He obviously has a base in the bottom of the cups to take up space," a viewer wrote. "Else he'd show us empty cups first."

Pedone was not the only barista to post a video addressing the claim.

AJ Young shared a video on his TikTok account @ayoungknightcomedy, which received nearly 40,000 views.

"I'm currently a barista at Starbucks, and I'm calling BS on the entire thing," he said.

Young showed the inside of the cups before he got to work filling the smallest cup size with water. He poured the water into the next-sized cup.

Just as what was seen in Pedone's video, there was room between the top of the second cup and the liquid. Pouring the same liquid into the largest cup size yielded the same results, and there was room between the top of the cup and the liquid.

Sueco shared a second video in which he claimed he was served a cease and desist from Starbucks.

However, a spokesperson for Starbucks told Newsweek that the coffee chain did not pursue legal action against Sueco.

The spokesperson also said they were not aware of any communications the company received from customers regarding the video about the cup sizes.

Newsweek reached out to Sueco, Courtnee Pedone and AJ Young for further comment.

This is not the first time viewers have gotten some insight into how products are prepared at popular food chains.

One man claiming to work at McDonald's posted a video in which he shared how customers can get the freshest chicken nuggets, while an alleged WingStop employee shared how to make the chain's Ranch dressing.